In Craig, no one is left out when it comes to being a derby daredevil. Last Saturday, July 7, all ages participated in the popular sport that many Craig residents have excelled in.
Sammy Huffman, the emcee of the evening, started the Derby event with the National Anthem and thanking everyone for coming out in the heat to the Craig County Fairgrounds. It was a packed evening.
Seeing the young children in their power wheels brought a smile to all. More vehicles entered than in recent memory. The children who participated include Kaidyn Brizendine, Bailey Brizendine, Ryleigh Grubbs, Carter Givens, Holley Givens, Silas Hodges, Maddy Hutchison, Brandon Minnix, Jase Hypes, Charlie Owen, Andrew Wees, Ryan Belcher, Charley Brown, Lily Richardson, Aubri Trivette, Will Huffman, Hunter Ponton and Trevor Fisher.
The power wheels were created or ‘adjusted’ for the event. Dads backed away as they were told to start.
Some kids bumped another car and just grinned while others kept the “pedal to the plastic” and hit and ran, looking for another.
Many dads helped to pull their child out of the mud, redirect the ones driving away from the pack before pulling the vehicles apart after a hit. Others just smiled with grins that were a mile wide. One dad got in the middle and almost was squished as three vehicles came towards him at the same time. He had to do some quick two-stepping to get out of the way.
Many Facebook comments were posted to capture the event. They include:
- Corie Trivette, “It’s just the beginning (with a wink)…will not be long until he is in a lil bigger ride!”
- Richard Brown, “Charley was so happy last night that he slept with his trophy and hasn’t quit talking about the derby.”
Ethan Brown said even though he has his own car, his favorite moments were getting to see the kids compete. “They will continue to compete in cars in the future,” he said. “It’s awesome to see the joy it brings to the kids. It’s a family sport for us, so it’s a great way to spend time together.”
Everyone was thankful to Guthrie Insurance for sponsoring the event. “Angie and I always love sponsoring the Kids Power Wheels event,” Bub Ponton said. “This is the future of Motorsports.” Each child received a trophy.
The heat was on as the real derby cars started their engines and spun into the very watered down pit. “Looks like they’re ready to roll,” Huffman said.
B.J. Oliver, Jimmy Williams, Bub Ponton and Jessie Bradford served as judges for the event.
Engines roared, smoke billowed and mud started slinging as the crowd participated in the countdown. “It’s never a dull moment at a Craig Derby,” one young man said.
There were five first heat drivers: Michael Gailmard (#45), Daniel Givens (#23), Corey Bailey (#666), Cole Dudley (#22) and Charlie Foutz (#38). Huffman said these gentlemen always make for a good show. Gailmard, Givens and Foutz were the top three to go in the final.
The second heat included: Bailey Holt (#08), Aaron Bostic (#88), Wormie Stebar (#64) and Ethan Brown (#15).
With his American flag flying in the wind atop his car, Brown came out in what seemed like a “driving revenge.” The only time the heats were paused was when the judges had to pick up crushed off parts.
Parts were knocked off, radiators busted and smoke and steam billowed, but Bostic, Stebar and Brown won the top three spots to compete in the final Compact Car Heat, which they took to the limits as there were no holdbacks on any of them.
When it was all said and done, Ethan Brown came in first place, Michael Gailmard came in second place and Daniel Givens came in third place.
“I’ve been running cars for nearly seven years, and I continue to run because of the excitement and adrenaline. I love the competition,” Brown said. “It can be a creative sport as you don’t’ have to go by stuff to compete because most things can be fabricated at home, and it’s a challenge to see who the best builder is.”
There was only one Big Car Heat. However, the six drivers stayed faithful to the call and made it a good one for the fans. They were Corie Trivette (#35), PJ Welch (#56), Matt Huffman (#88), Joey Minter P-Broke, Jeremiah Law (#17) and Donnie Fisher (#21).
The more they hit, the louder the fans responded. No driver wanted to lighten up, and it appeared they didn’t, ringing loud the derby motto of “hit hard and shake hands later.”
The Big Car Winners were, PJ Welch (first place), Donnie Fisher (second place) and Matthew Huffman (third place)
The Powder Puff Derby has become a fan favorite to many. Only two young ladies were able to enter this event – Maddy Oliver and Holly Broughman. Both brought their A-game, and neither was hesitant to give a big hit.
Oliver took first place while Broughman’s effort resulted in her finishing second.
Mad Dog awards for the most ‘enthusiastic and hard driving’ drivers were given to Ethan Brown (Compact), PJ Welch (Big Car) and Maddy Oliver (Powder Puff).
All winners took home nice trophies and a cash prize. Just the fun of being in the derby made the evening worthwhile for attendees. “We run and hit to win,” many drivers said. “But at the end of the day, any of us would help the other if needed.”
Huffman said, “I’d like to thank everyone for coming out and their continued support of the Fairground. Also, thanks to all the volunteers that came out in the heat and helped with the derby.”
The next two derbies are scheduled for August 4 and October 13. “Bring your cars and join in on the fun!” Huffman added.